About Me

I am a  fully qualified  teacher and SEN tutor, with specialist training in English, a First Class degree, and over 25 years' experience of teaching secondary aged students and above. Typically, I work with those students who have found classroom learning difficult. I provide one-to-one learning opportunities to students in English/Humanities and beyond. I have worked predominantly with  students with indicators of Dyslexia, autism and processing issues, who seek to improve working memory, organisational skills, English and literacy skills, exam performance, and who seek to improve their overall education.
3 Reviews

£100.00 Per Hour

minimum 1.5 hour sessions READ THIS TUTOR'S REVIEWS HERE

Specialist Experience and Skills

Since graduating with a PGCE from The Institute of Education, where my dissertation was on English and Literacy for neurodivergent students, I have worked for over 25 years as an English  GCSE and Functional Skills English Intervention Teacher, and also as a one-to-one English tutor.  I enjoy developing bespoke work which matches student interests and needs and which seeks to deliver skills in ways that are fun and effective.

My focus is to provide a positive learning experience by developing a genuinely bespoke programme of study which engages the student at a personal level, which provi... Read More
Since graduating with a PGCE from The Institute of Education, where my dissertation was on English and Literacy for neurodivergent students, I have worked for over 25 years as an English  GCSE and Functional Skills English Intervention Teacher, and also as a one-to-one English tutor.  I enjoy developing bespoke work which matches student interests and needs and which seeks to deliver skills in ways that are fun and effective.

My focus is to provide a positive learning experience by developing a genuinely bespoke programme of study which engages the student at a personal level, which provides the requisite underpinning skills, knowledge and understanding to help the learner become more confident and more astute as a learner and more curious about the world an as individual.

As well as developing English and language skills, I aim to improve verbal memory, processing speed, organisational skills and working memory skills. Critical thinking skills development underpin all work. My approach builds on multi-sensory learning, and I build on student's visual and creative skills. Recognising that different students have preferred learning styles, I work to equip students with a broad range of learning strategies, working with weaknesses as well as strengths and developing task specific strategies. I am particularly interested in developing confidence, a positive mindset and resilience.

My specialist experience teaching English to students with dyslexia: For many years I developed and managed out of school provision funded by the borough SEN department. As well as being responsible for managing the whole provision, my specialism was teaching English for those with dyslexia. I then became responsible for developing and delivering a cross campus literacy, functional skills and GCSE support programme for students who have EHCPs including Dyslexia. Dyslexia is complex and may involve issues relating to reading, listening, writing and spelling. Each student has a unique learning profile. It is important for a teacher to start with each student’s individual skill set, to identify their strengths and preferred learning styles. Whilst it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the student’s strengths, it is important to develop their skill set, to turn weaknesses into strengths. A typical bespoke programme will identify learning gaps and plug those gaps, address spelling difficulties and develop spelling strategies, students will learn how to plan their writing to suit purpose, developing expressive and receptive communication skills and develop the inferential skills needed to write about the writers intentions and  how the reader is affected by the text. The student will also learn how to write creatively and to communicate effectively.

My specialist experience teaching English including Functional Skills and GCSEs: As well as teaching English and Literacy for many years and being responsible for managing whole provision to Key Stage 4, I have been responsible for developing and delivering cross campus literacy, functional skills and GCSE support programmes for students.  Competency and confidence is English skills is the most complex and important skill a student needs to acquire and is the reason why universities prioritise achievement in English Language at GCSE level. I am familiar with the exam requirements for major examining boards including AQA, Edexcel and Functional Skills Entry 1,2and 3 and Level 1 and 2. I provide students with the English skills needed to access a wider curriculum.

My approach and strategies utilised when working with students with SEN including dyslexia and autism: Each student has a unique learning profile. It is important for a teacher to start with each student’s individual skill set, to identify their strengths and preferred learning styles. Whilst it is important to acknowledge and celebrate the student’s strengths, it is important to develop their skill set, to turn weaknesses into strengths. A typical bespoke programme will identify learning gaps and will then plug those gaps, address spelling difficulties and develop spelling strategies, students will learn how to plan their writing to suit purpose, developing expressive and receptive communication skills and develop the inferential skills needed to write about the writers intentions and how the reader is affected by the text. The student will also learn how to write creatively and to communicate effectively.

Learning starts with the student and teaching starts with understanding the student and then developing a meaningful, positive and purposeful relationship which empowers the student. True learning can only happen when a student is intrinsically motivated. Successful learning experiences are the most powerful way we can change mindset, improve resilience, and generate and sustain a positive outlook. A teacher, foremost, needs to be empathetic, to centre the student, to ensure that each engagement is a positive one, each lesson is scaffolded to ensure that the student understands what they must do and becomes confident that they can achieve. Targets, therefore, are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. The pace of lessons should match the preferred pace of the student with inbuilt opportunities to stretch and challenge, to nudge the student gently out of their comfort zone. Where possible, the starting point should be the student’s strengths and interests. The teacher should be flexible and adaptable, lessons cumulative, and should seek to build a learner’s confidence through collaborative learning. Often, the student does not realise their potential because learning is not shaped to suit their personality, interests, and ability.  A well thought out programme of study, shaped to the student’s personality and academic ability will do much to restore belief, engagement, energy, and learning.

English is well suited as a site in which, scaffolded within different tasks, we can learn different ways of thinking about ourselves and others. Whether we think about similes and metaphors, writer’s intentions, or the effect of writing on the reader. We can tease out and think about ambiguity, we can make inferences about the emotional and social worlds, identify and think about the multivocal complexity in human communication and consider the human condition. Learning about English, therefore, improves communication, expressive and receptive skills, the ability to write effectively, our ability to think and feel, Cumulatively, English improves our confidence, wellbeing, and thoughtfulness.

It is important to make learning meaningful to the students and to present tasks in ways that align with how the student understands the world. It is important to start with the students preferred learning style and to embed tasks which appeal to their strengths. Often students prefer to learn, relearn, and overlearn in different ways, using a multisensory approach which allows them to identify if different tasks are better suited to an auditory, kinaesthetic, or visual approach. Repetition, rehearsal, and revisiting are helpful. Students learn how to use colour and visualisation to aid retention. Information should be chunked, broken down into manageable parts. Work should be scaffolded. It is important to match skill to task. For example, mnemonics will help students to remember tricky spelling which do not follow spelling rules, whilst acronyms with help students to remember those concepts which they need to include in the responses to particular questions, whether it be creative writing responses or techniques used in writing to argue and persuade.

Whilst there are specific study skills which relate to specific subskills, spelling strategies, for example, there are also wider set of study skills which related to thinking about and writing about English texts, and to exam requirements. We are fortunate that the English examining boards have been very, very explicit in indicating how each question should be answered, and they have provided models and clear marking schemes which help students to understand texts and how to structure their responses. Once learned, the response to text approach is easily adopted to ensure success in responding to any text. Understanding how the examiners award marks is an essential skill. Using colour coded mind maps, acronyms and sentence starters will provide students with a memorable footprint for success. Fortunately, the advice from the examiners is very specific. For example, for the all-important GCSE English language exam we know, for example, which four sentence starters the examiners want us to use to gain a good pass in the structure question in paper 1 and we know the structural features which we can write about which will help us raise our grades turning us from being a good student, to being an exceptional student.

Experience providing fun and engaging lessons: Fun is fundamental to successful learning. Students, in my experience, enjoy learning where they are encouraged, where possible, to help shape content and how we study it. It is important that students see themselves as stakeholders, where they feel that a programme of study is shaped with their interests and their needs are at the centre of planning process. Topic delivery is best received when there is variety in topic, form and outcomes. Work should be relevant, appropriate and lead to a positive learning experience in every session. Students should feel interested, confident in understanding the concepts used and confident in achieving outcomes. There should be embedded opportunities to stretch and challenge.

I consider myself to be an empathetic teacher able to connect with students and willing to develop a truly bespoke curriculum for each student. One of the great pleasures in one- to- one work is the opportunity to develop work which builds on each student's individual interests, and which creates a learning environment where students feel safe and yet also challenged. Work should move at a pace which suits the child and where they feel confident that the work will be interesting, at the right level of challenge. Thoughtfully planned lessons will encourage an engagement in the wider world and will also empower the student as an individual.

My experience of working with students with autism including high functioning autism: I consider myself to be an empathetic teacher able to connect with students and willing to develop a truly bespoke curriculum for each student. To minimise ambiguity or anxiety, it is important that work is scaffolded, ensuring tasks are cumulative, that instructions are clear and that tasks are broken into manageable chunks. One of the great pleasures in one to one work is the opportunity to develop work which builds on each student's individual interests and creates a learning environment where students feel safe and yet also challenges students. Work should move at a pace which suits the child and where they feel confident that the work will be interesting, at the right level of challenge, will encourage an engagement in the wider world and will both empower the student as an individual and provide positive learning outcomes in each session.

My experience as a humanities teacher: I teach humanities because I find the subject interesting and students find the subject fun.  Humanities embeds complex critical skills and the study of humanities encourages students to be thoughtful about themselves and the world they live in.

As a Humanities teacher, I aim to inspire pupils’ curiosity, I encourage students to understand more about the past, and to develop a knowledge and understanding the wider world. Whether learning about Ancient Greek gods and heroes, Alexander the Great, how Egyptians mummied a body or what you might eat with squirrel tail soup in World War 2, pupils develop critical thinking, perspective and judgement.

A typical programme of study, shaped by student interest, will help them to know and understand chronological narrative and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world. Students will learn to make connections.

I believe that a well delivered humanities education should give pupils a personal experience of the wider world in which they live, how it is changing and our impact upon it. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places and people. It should inspire in pupils a lifelong curiosity.

My experience working with disengaged students: In my experience, disengaging behaviours are often a consequence of a student being pushed through a curriculum which doesn't suit their needs and which doesn't provide a positive learning experience. If learning is shaped to the learners needs, and delivered at the right level, with their learning style in mind, and at a pace which suits the student, behavioural inhibitors tend to be a much less significant. In other words, the teacher, whilst maintaining high expectations for the student,  needs to learn to work to the rhythm preferred by the student. A student needs to feel that each encounter is a positive one.

Learning starts, therefore, with the student and teaching starts with understanding the student and then developing a meaningful, positive and purposeful relationship which empowers the student. True learning can only happen when a student is intrinsically motivated. Successful learning experiences are the most powerful way we can change mindset, improve resilience and generate and sustain a positive outlook. A teacher, foremost, needs to be empathetic, to centre the student, to ensure that each engagement is a positive one, each lesson is scaffolded to ensure that the student understands what they must do and becomes confident that they can achieve. Targets, therefore, are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. The pace of lessons should match the preferred pace of the student with inbuilt opportunities to stretch and challenge, to nudge the student gently out of their comfort zone. Where possible, the starting point should be the student’s strengths and interests. The teacher should be flexible and adaptable, lessons cumulative, and should seek to build a learner’s confidence through collaborative learning. Often, the student does not realise their potential because learning is not shaped to suit their personality, interests and ability.  A well thought out programme of study, shaped to the student’s personality and academic ability will do much to restore belief, engagement, energy and learning.

English is well suited as a site in which, scaffolded within different tasks, we can learn different ways of thinking about ourselves and others. Whether we think about similes and metaphors, writer’s intentions or the effect of writing on the reader. We can tease out and think about ambiguity, we can make inferences about the emotional and social worlds, identify and think about the multivocal complexity in human communication and consider the human condition. Learning about English, therefore, improves communication, expressive and receptive skills, the ability to write effectively, our ability to think and feel, Cumulatively, English improves our confidence, wellbeing and thoughtfulness.

My specialist experience working with students with processing and memory difficulties: It is important to make learning meaningful to the students and to present tasks in ways that align with how the student understands the world. It is important to start with the students preferred learning style and to embed tasks which appeal to their strengths. Often students prefer to learn, relearn and overlearn in different ways, using a multisensory approach which allows them to identify if different tasks are better suited to an auditory, kinaesthetic or visual approach. Repetition, rehearsal and revisiting are helpful. Students learn how to use colour and visualisation to aid retention. Information should be chunked, broken down into manageable parts. Work should be scaffolded. It is important to match skill to task. For example, mnemonics will help students to remember tricky spelling which do not follow spelling rules, whilst acronyms with help students to remember those concepts which they need to include in the responses to particular questions whether it be creative writing responses or techniques used in writing to argue and persuade.

My experience in teaching study skills, executive functions, essay writing etc: My experience of teaching study skills and in addressing issues emergent from executive function tells me that work needs to be clearly signposted, anchored and embedded in real work skills and tasks relating to the specific targets the student is working towards. Study skills training needs to be appropriate and relevant. Whilst there are specific study skills which relate to specific subskills, spelling strategies, for example, there are also wider set of study skills which related to thinking about and writing about English texts, and to exam requirements. We are fortunate that the English examining boards have been very, very explicit in indicating how each question should be answered, and they have provided models and clear marking schemes which help students to understand texts and how to structure their responses. Once learned, the response to text approach is easily adopted to ensure success in responding to any text. Understanding how the examiners award marks is an essential skill. Using colour coded mind maps, acronyms and sentence starters will provide students with a memorable footprint for success. Fortunately, the advice from the examiners is very specific. For example, we know which four sentence starters the examiners want us to use to gain a pass in the structure question in paper 1 and we know the  structural features which we can write about which will help us raise our grades turning us from being a good student, to being an exceptional student.

My Teaching Philosophy

I am passionate about the power of education to change lives. I consider myself to be empathetic, flexible and focused.  I work hard to ensure that the student experience is personal, effective, rewarding and fun. Whatever the issues a student faces, it is essential to start by understanding the student as a unique human being with unique passions and interests. Successful learning happens went the student plays a part in setting the pace of learning and shaping how they learn. However, although it is important that learning is student led and that learning is shaped by their skill set and aspirations, it is also important that expectations are high and that there are opportunities for the student to stretch and challenge.

I begin a bespoke course of learning by understanding my student and their needs and I work towards building a positive relationship. A good tutor needs to be flexible, patient, creative and, above all, empathetic to the needs of each student. A good tutor also needs to develop materials that engage and that work, that get a student from where they are to where they want to be.

Although the focus is on developing English/Humanities skills, I seek to develop confidence, a positive mindset, and  a resilience which encourages the student to become more proactive and more thoughtful about themselves and those around them. I also seek to provide a broad based, well balanced education which encourages the student to become more curious about the world. English is the perfect vehicle for us to explore what it means to be human and how to live well and provides scope to build a broad based and well balanced education .

Something Sensational About Me

Before I became a teacher and father, I travelled quite widely. Nowadays, I'm more of an armchair traveller, although, as a family, we do like to go campfire camping.

My wife and I work an allotment and I'm a member of The British Museum. I retain a strong interest in history, anthropology, and related disciplines.

Ahem. My eldest daughter was awarded top 2% marks in both English Language and English Literature at GCSE and A Level English. My youngest daughter is destined to be an inspiring teacher.

Blogs or articles

Contact us to book this tutor

    Your contact details will be sent to SENsational Tutors Ltd and will NOT be used for any marketing purposes.

    Availability

    • Monday 0900 - 17.00
    • Tuesday Not available - Not available
    • Wednesday 0900 - 1800
    • Thursday 0900 - 1800
    • Friday 1400 - 1700
    • Saturday Not available - Not available

    Qualifications and Training

    • Institute of Education, University of London, PGCE (English specialist);
    • University of London B.A. (Hons.) Anthropology and Sociology (First Class)
    I regularly attend relevant training, including training on Autism Awareness, Learning Difficulties and learning, ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia and Learning,   Safeguarding, Mindset, Target Setting, Learning Styles, Social Anxiety and Behaviour Management, Evidence Based Teaching and GCSE English and Functional Skills enhancement programmes.... Read More
    • Institute of Education, University of London, PGCE (English specialist);
    • University of London B.A. (Hons.) Anthropology and Sociology (First Class)
    I regularly attend relevant training, including training on Autism Awareness, Learning Difficulties and learning, ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia and Learning,   Safeguarding, Mindset, Target Setting, Learning Styles, Social Anxiety and Behaviour Management, Evidence Based Teaching and GCSE English and Functional Skills enhancement programmes.

    Choose me if…

    • you require a teacher who... is passionate about the power of education to transform lives
    • you require a teacher who... can transform a disengaged student into an engaged student
    • you require a teacher who... provides students with the skill set they need to get to where they want to be
    • you require a teacher who... provides the learner with a focussed, structured, multi-sensory programme;
    • you require a teacher who...aims to ensure the development of a confident, capable, independent learner

    SPECIFIC AREAS COVERED

    London

    Location

    Enhanced DBS Checked

    References Checked

    ID Checked

    Contact us to book this tutor

      Your contact details will be sent to SENsational Tutors Ltd and will NOT be used for any marketing purposes.




      Rachel

      John has worked with both of my boys since June 202. Between them they have ASD, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia. John had been patient, kind, flexible, motivating, engaging and reflective about his approach with both boys. He delivers truly bespoke input to meet their individual needs. He arrived on time and well prepared. He has a nurturing and supportive approach. It should also be stated that John does not just provide support to my children, he has provided considerable support to me navigating the education services and exploring appropriate reasonable adjustments which may suit the boys, his guidance in this has allowed me to effectively advocate for my children in the best possible way. I cannot thank him enough!

      Chris

      My daughter has really responded to John's multisensory style. There were some big gaps in her English skills and John was able to develop a personalised programme of study which was non patronising, vibrant and effective. She has reengaged with the English language. Even teachers in other subjects have noticed her newfound purposefulness!

      Lisa

      John's empathetic approach has really made  a big difference to my son's attitude to learning. Knowing how to spot and write about language features and how to structure answers to maximise marks has changed the way he thinks about the English language and the exam. Thanks!

      Please leave a review below